A while back I posted these analog/digital pieces that have a political slant. I don’t normally overtly inject politics into my art. It’s always there, I like to say “sharks don’t have to go to school to learn how to be sharks”.
The pieces were popular with my friends, I got to do an art exchange with Dain Q. Gore because of them, and about a month ago a musician from Phoenix, Bloom Phase, commissioned a piece to accompany a June 2020 release, “Stupid King”. It is a pointedly political number and he wanted pointedly political art to go along with it. Cory (Bloom Phase’s birth name) gave me lots of leeway in his notes, asking that I include that common image of presidents signing bills, pictures of fanatical crowd, political rallies, and he didn’t want to focus just on the current political situation–but agreed it was obviously influencing his music.
I have a set of children’s school encyclopedias from the 1970s, they’re beautifully illustrated, and deeply investigate the difficulties of their era–I wish textbooks today were as intense. I used a handful of images from those, as well as a some public domain works found on the Library of Congress, wikicommons, and the NYC Public Library.
I wanted to do honor to the images of protestors, to show that resistance is an ongoing story about unity against injustice that needs to be remembered. “Stupid King” is an incredible piece of music, and I wanted my artwork to be up to its level as well.
Cory liked the circle motif of the earlier collages and I made sure to include them as a design element, but because of the freeform way I work, it grew well beyond that. I used acrylic paint, and did a good amount of editing in photoshop to reach the final look. In all, it took about six drafts to get to the completed piece.
“Stupid King” by Bloom Phase is available now on Spotify, and other services. You should go add it to your Summer playlist.